Hacking attacks on websites is something you’ve probably heard of. You might have heard about hackers attacking websites. You may have read about how hackers attack websites. But, did you ever stop to think about how hackers discover vulnerable websites?
How hackers discover vulnerable websites
You may be surprised to know that hackers use internet searches to find vulnerable websites. Many of the advanced features offered by search engines are not available to regular users. These advanced features are a huge advantage for legitimate power users, who can save a lot of time. Unfortunately, hackers can also benefit from these advanced features.
SMBs can still afford robust security for their websites, which is a good thing. Security is not all about expensive tools. It’s more about efficient processes. Here’s what you need to know.
Security should always be considered before design
Your priority when implementing anything on your website should be to make it as secure as possible. Next, you should consider the design aspects. Do not work in the opposite direction. You should immediately conduct a security audit on your site and address any concerns it may raise.
Consider carefully your host choice
You can, in principle, self-host. However, there will be very few SMBs that choose to self-host and they will likely be larger. Most SMBs will look into third-party hosting. Make sure you check the security record of any host before choosing them. There is absolutely no point in doing everything you can to secure your website from hackers if they can just enter it through the server on which it resides.
After you have selected your host, you can then choose the type of hosting that you would like. Although many hosts are business-grade, they will offer a range of hosting options. However, all of them are essentially dedicated hosting. You can have one server for yourself or share hosting.
You can rest assured that your website will not be compromised by someone else’s insecure hosting. However, shared hosting is usually more affordable and can be made extremely secure if you are familiar with the basics. You should be very careful when setting file and directory permissions. External technical support can be accessed if necessary.
Take care when choosing your software
A content management system is a must. Some hosts require that you use their proprietary CMS. These hosts are often marketed as offering all-in-one solutions for website building. However, most hosts will let you choose your CMS. It’s best to look into your options and decide which one is right for you – not just WordPress.
After you have chosen your CMS, it is important to learn how to make the most of it. It is also important to be aware of the security implications of third-party extensions that you choose to use. These should be kept to a minimum to preserve completeness.
It is strongly advised that you stick with open-source options with active communities if you are using open-source software. This will give you a reasonable expectation that it will be updated frequently. If you are using proprietary software, make sure that it is still supported by the vendor. All updates should be applied promptly. You can do this by making sure you receive push notifications whenever updates are made or keeping a note in your calendar for regular checks.
Be sure to manage both internal and external users.
Although administrator accounts are an obvious vulnerability, even lower-grade accounts could cause a lot of harm to your website. External users can also have accounts at risk. Any website that allows users to input any data (even their email address) has the potential for being compromised.
External users must also be restricted in their activities. Where they are allowed to take action they should be guided and validated. If they are allowed to upload files, this should be at least twice as strict.